Formula 1
Formula 1
31 Jul
Event finished
14 Aug
Event finished
28 Aug
Event finished
04 Sep
Event finished
11 Sep
Event finished
25 Sep
Event finished
R
Sakhir GP
04 Dec
Next event in
65 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
11 Dec
FP1 in
72 days
Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Technical analysis: Key Mercedes updates leave rivals floundering

shares
comments
Technical analysis: Key Mercedes updates leave rivals floundering
By:
Co-author: Matt Somerfield

Mercedes is not easing up in its efforts to continue as the dominant force in Formula 1, as the updates it introduced for the British Grand Prix showed.

The German marque continues to impress with the sheer quantity of updates available for the W07 at each round of the championship, whilst continuing to address weaknesses that may have appeared in previous rounds.

Mercedes W07 front wing, captioned, Canadian GP
Mercedes W07 front wing, Canadian GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The front wing was pretty much unchanged from the Austria specification, albeit the gurney tab usually placed on the upper flap, over the flap strakes, was removed, trimming the downforce level of the car and changing the balance for the drivers.

Merdecedes, Front brake duct
Merdecedes, Front brake duct

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

An asymmetric brake duct layout was utilised, with the fully enclosed drum used on the right hand side of the car, whilst the specification first used in Spain that features an airflow crossover was used on the left.

Requiring less cooling for the brakes on the long straights that are a feature of the Silverstone circuit, the team opted to close off the uppermost cooling inlet which sits between the vertical fence and the tyre's sidewall.

Mercedes, front
Mercedes, front

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Interestingly, Mercedes adopted the use of its brake warming devices whilst in the garage at Silverstone, whereas previously it had only used these on the grid before the start of a race.

Their intent is to improve the temperature of the brakes for maximum performance once released out onto track. With Mercedes amongst many others who chose to close off its brake ducts, it shows how important the generation and retention of heat is in the performance of the brakes.

The multi-layered bargeboards that Mercedes introduced in pre-season testing have been revised in Silverstone, with the vertical elements reduced to five, whilst the strakes that protrude from the floors edge has also been reduced to eight.

This will change how the airflow moves around the sidepod's undercut and both over and under the floor downstream.

Mercedes, Cockpit louvres
Mercedes, Cockpit louvres

Photo by: XPB Images

Temperatures differ from circuit to circuit and as such all teams focus their efforts on making changes to suit their surroundings.

These changes have a bearing not only the performance of the power unit but also the aerodynamics, and Mercedes is no exception in its quest to find the right configuration for the given circuit.

At Silverstone, the louvres placed alongside the cockpit have been reduced down to two (black inset), not only for the cooler temperatures but also because an open surface can come with a drag penalty.

Mercedes, Engine cover bulge
Mercedes, Engine cover bulge

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The ERS cooler mounted behind the power unit was changed for Silverstone (highlighted in green), which led to a change in the shape of the blister that covers it on the exterior of the engine cover.

Mercedes, Diffuser winglet
Mercedes, Diffuser winglet

Photo by: XPB Images

The 200mm winglet that sits between the crash structure and diffuser has also been revised, with the lowermost element now furnished with a slot, whilst the upper element is now split into two separate sections rather than being defined by two smaller slots.

Whilst this change may seem modest it is part of a holistic approach that helps to align the aerodynamic structures created by the diffuser, exhaust and rear wing.

Mercedes rear wing detail
Mercedes rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes has had several configurations of rear wing this season to suit the various conditions it has faced. At Silverstone a new rear wing was deployed by the team though, featuring the same sort of revolutionary endplate louvres first used by Toro Rosso in pre-season testing. (below)

The louvres are shaped in a way that exposes them as slots to the airflow, with a metal bridge used on the leading edge to retain their shape.

Four strakes were also been added to the endplates in order to break up pressure and upwash the airflow. The endplates have been reduced in thickness in this area, in order that the strakes can form part of the 20mm maximum width.

Toro Rosso STR11 rear wing, barcelona winter testings
Toro Rosso STR11 rear wing, Barcelona winter testing

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes: Red Bull pace not limited by engine power

Previous article

Mercedes: Red Bull pace not limited by engine power

Next article

Alonso stays on top as rain hits Silverstone F1 test

Alonso stays on top as rain hits Silverstone F1 test
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event British GP
Location Silverstone
Teams Mercedes
Author Giorgio Piola